Sebastian Lletget spoils first MLS starts for Quakes’ Cowell and Beason in 3-2 win

The San Jose Earthquakes and the Los Angeles Galaxy get into a mad scramble for the football in the Cali Clasico on Sat Aug 29th in Carson City ( photo)

~ By Pearl Allison Lo

~ August 29, 2020

~ Los Angeles Galaxy´s Lletget gave his team their first and final lead in the 82nd minute Saturday. This broke a three-game unbeaten streak the Earthquakes held in the California Clasico. The last four matches now have seen at least one team with three goals. 

Meanwhile, San Jose´s 16-year old Cade Cowell and Tanner Beason (also his debut) made their first MLS starts and both made an impact. 

It was the Earthquakes´ first match since outside the Orlando Bubble after Wednesday´s match was postponed due to racial injustice sit outs and their first contest since Magnus Eriksson went back to Sweden. 

The Galaxy really amped up their shots in the second half, with over half of them on target. 

San Jose led early. In the 11th minute, Tommy Thompson threw the ball in to Cristian Espinoza who kicked the ball back to Thompson. Thompson then ran to the goal line, made a perfect pass to Vako from the edge of the penalty box, and with no hesitation, Vako spun the ball past goalie David Bingham to notch his second tally of the year.

In the 32nd minute, Cristian Pavón was eventually able to shake off Thompson as they neared the goal entering the penalty box. With keeper Daniel Vega at the corner of the goal, Pavón then made a sliding sweep around kick that Beason was able to knock down at the goal line, no hands required, to save the score. Though that prompted Los Angeles´ś Ethan Zubak to put his hands to his head in disbelief, the Galaxy were for the most part undeterred as they scored in the following minute. 

Daniel Steres put the teams into a 1-1 tie as Lletget assisted with one of his three total corners in the first half.  

Pavon was the only with multiple shots in the first half as Los Angeles largely controlled possession after Vakoś goal. Pavon finished the match with a game-high six shots. 

The Galaxy´s Rolf Feltscher took a yellow card in the 52nd minute. Quakes’ Jackson Yuelil faked the kick before deferring to Cristian Espinoza. 

Los Angeles obtained a second yellow card in the 56th minute. 

It was then Cowell´s time to shine, as he won a one-on-one battle with Feltscher after a pass from Vako. Cowell got into position with two defenders near him and one of his teammates and found his spot to give his team a 2-1 lead in the 59th minute with warranted emotion as the youngest player ever on San Jose. 


Both teams were increasing their intensity as the Galaxy tried five shots in between the 64th and 66th minutes.   

Beason committed a handball in the 70th minute and Pavón was able to concert on the penalty kick in the 72nd minute to retie the game.

Danny Hoseen and Vako exchanged places in the 82nd minute, and in that same minute, Lletget sealed the game off a corner, which at first was debated for being a handball. 

Up Next: San Jose will face the other Southern California team LAFC midweek at 7:30pm. 

Minnesota FC take down Earthquakes 4-1, advance to MLS Is Back semifinals

The San Jose Earthquakes tweeted a message “It was an incredible journey” they went 3-0-1 going into Saturday’s night’s game against Minnesota FC but were eliminated in the quarterfinal in a 4-1 loss. (@SJEarthquakes photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

ORLANDO, Fla— Kryptonite is kryptonite.

For the The San Jose Earthquakes their kryptonite is Minnesota FC. The Loons established its game early and never took their foot off the gas pedal in a 4-1 victory in a quarterfinals match of the MLS Is Back tournament on Saturday evening at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

San Jose has lost four consecutive games against Minnesota, including a 5-2 loss back in March at Earthquakes Stadium, dating back to last year and are 0-4 during head coach Matias Almeyda’s tenure with the Quakes.

The Cinderella run for San Jose came to an end after spending five weeks in the citrus city. They now head back to Silicon Valley to regroup while Minnesota FC head to a semifinal matchup with Orlando City FC on Thursday.

The Loons took control of the game scoring two goals in a 90 second span at the 20th minute.

Hassani Dotson sent a cross in to the left side of the box where Jose Aja headed the ball back into the middle where an unmarked Robin Lod finished the play with a right-footed chip into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Before the Quakes could even blink, Minnesota FC’s Dotson dribbled in from right to left with a shot on goal that Quakes goalkeeper Daniel Vega wasn’t able to control and Jacori Hayes buried the rebound into the upper right corner for a two-goal lead. It was Hayes’ first goal in a Minnesota FC uniform.

“We were outplayed by the opponent. It’s the fourth time they played us and the fourth time they beat us. In these instances, unfortunately you have to get your bags and go home. And even though I didn’t want to lose, I had illusions to keep going. All the people that were here, the players, the staff, the executives, people back home, I thank everybody for the effort,” Almeyda said.

Despite controlling the possession game in the first half 70%-30%, San Jose looked flat-footed in the first 45 minutes as Minnesota looked steps ahead playing their style of game.

San Jose changed the momentum of the game briefly at the beginning of the second half when Cristian Espinoza sent a ball into the box where Tommy Thompson’s chip went off the wrist of Hayes. After VAR review a penalty shot was awarded to the Quakes.

Once again Magnus Eriksson was the man from 12 yards out as he slammed home the shot past Minnesota FC goalkeeper Tyler Miller for his third penalty conversion of the tournament in the 50th minute. Eriksson is now a perfect eight for eight on penalty shots.

Six minutes later Minnesota FC regained their two-goal lead and ended any chance of a San Jose comeback. Lod made a pass from midfield over to Luis Amarilla. The Minnesota FC striker then dribbled the ball unchallenged all the way down inside the box before drilling a shot past Vega from 12 yards out for a 3-1 lead.

“I am really proud of the steps forward that we’ve taken in this tournament. “It was a huge commitment for us to be the first team here, and to stay as long as we did. I think it’s a testament to where this team is at. We’re confident and I think the best is yet to come. We have plenty of lessons to take, whether it’s the comeback win against Vancouver, or the convincing win against Chicago, or now those result against Minnesota. We’re going to take the good with the bad and were focusing on the future. It’s like I said, I think the best is yet to come”, said Thompson.

The Loons finished off the scoring to ice the game in the 86th minute. Dotson made a run along the right wing and centered the ball into the middle where Marlon Hairston tapped in the ball into an open net.

Miller only needed to make three saves in earning the victory. Vega made nine saves in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose had 6 corner kicks. Minnesota FC had 5.

San Jose were issued four yellow cards in the match (Chris Wondolowski, Jackson Yueill, Andy Rios and Judson).

The Earthquakes depart the MLS is Back Tournament with a 3-1-1 overall record, including a 2-0-1 record in Group-Stage play that counts towards the regular-season standings.

San Jose held >60% possession in all five of their matches in the tournament.

Eriksson and Wondolowski each finished with a team-high three goals during the competition.

Midfielder Jack Skahan made his Earthquakes debut, entering as a substitute in the 67th minute.

Vega and defender Guram Kashia each played all 450 minutes of the tournament.

MLS is Back Tournament podcast with London Marq: How the game has stayed safe in the Orlando bubble; Quarterfinals start on Saturday

Real Salt Lake defender Marcelo Silva, left, and San Jose Earthquakes forward Andres Rios (25) compete for the ball during the first half of the MLS Is Back knockout game Monday. (AP photo)

MLS podcast with London:

#1 Since playing in the bubble for the MLS is Back Tournament there hasn’t been any major outbreak since FC Dallas and FC Nashville had dropped out.

#2 London their are eight teams left in the MLS quarterfinals and amongst them are the heavily favorites LAFC and Sporting KC which had strong outings to get here.

#3 The San Jose Earthquakes have been the biggest surprise going 3-0-1 beating some real odds playing to a 0-0 draw to start the tournament against Seattle, then coming back from behind on the Vancouver Whitecaps for a  4-3 win, then shutting out the Chicago Fire 2-0 and then a huge win 5-2 over Real Salt Lake to go the quarterfinals with momentum.

#4 The Quakes go into the quarterfinals this Saturday as underdogs and no one would have expected them to get this far and the way they have played since the MLS is Back has folks the games asking “who are these guys”

#5 Chris Wondolowski always a key player in the Quakes success and the 86th minute of Monday night’s game against RSL was no exception with Wondolowski scoring on a rebound. Wondolowski who leads the MLS as the all time scorer scored in his third straight game.

London Marq podcasts each Friday and does analysis on the San Jose Earthquakes at

San Jose Earthquakes podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Quakes roll to quarterfinals this Saturday with a perfect 3-0-1 record

The San Jose Earthquakes Carlos Fierro has a lot to be happy about as he’s been a big offensive contributor in the MLS is Back Tournament as the Quakes defeated Real Salt Lake in a come back match on Monday night in Orlando (@SJEarthquakes photo)

On the San Jose Earthquakes podcast with Marko:

#1 The San Jose Earthquakes once again played another come back from behind contest at the MLS is Back tournament scoring four goals in the second half to turn it around on Real Salt Lake for a three goal 5-2 win last Monday in Orlando.

#2 Marko talk about the point you had brought up in your column on Monday night San Jose had five different players tally either a goal or an assist and two players that recorded both a goal and an assist.

#3 The Earthquakes have now scored 11 goals in their last three matches of the MLS is Back Tournament, including at least four in two of the last three games.

#4 San Jose controlled the majority of play in the first half. They won the possession battle 66%-34% against Real Salt Lake.

#5 Marko talk about the upcoming game against  Minnesota FC the Quakes have this Saturday Aug 1st as they head to the quarterfinals.

Join Marko as he takes you through the excitement of San Jose Earthquakes soccer from ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.


Earthquakes take down Real Salt Lake 5-2, earn spot in quarterfinals of MLS Is Back

The San Jose Earthquakes celebrate yet another happy ending following their victory over  Real Lake City in their three goal win to improve to 3-0-1 and move onto the quarterfinals (@SJEarthquakes photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

ORLANDO, Fla.—The San Jose Earthquakes continued their dominance in the second half. Real Salt Lake was their latest victim as they won they scored four second half goals en route to a 5-2 victory in their round of 16 match of the MLS is Back tournament on Monday evening at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

With the victory the Quakes stamped their ticket to the quarterfinals of the MLS Is Back tournament and now await the winner of the Minnesota FC-Columbus Crew match tomorrow evening.

San Jose had five different players tally either a goal or an assist and two players that recorded both a goal and an assist.

The Earthquakes have now scored 11 goals in their last three matches of the MLS is Back Tournament, including at least four in two of the three games. The club has now outscored its opponents 11-5 in the competition and 10-2 over its last 210 minutes.

San Jose controlled the majority of play in the first half. They won the possession battle 66%-34% against Real Salt Lake.

“I think the team keeps growing game after game,” said Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda. “It keeps showing a very positive attitude. In unity, in sacrifice, but more than anything in how they play. The best thing for a coach is to get the maximum level out of each player because that will allow us to have growth. Once again, I am grateful to each player and for the work they have put in.”

The Quakes broke through in the 21st minute. Magnus Eriksson started a rush up the pitch where he found Vako open in the middle. Vako then sent a pass out to the right wing where Cristian Espinoza gathered the ball, made a move inside and fired a shot past Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Zac MacMath back into the left corner of the goal for his second goal in as many games.

Real Salt Lake caught San Jose sleeping at the subsequent kickoff. A long ball surprised the Quakes backline and sprung Douglas Martinez who came in all alone from the left wing. Quakes goalkeeper Daniel Vega came out to challenge the play but Martinez chipped the ball over Vega for a goal just 21 seconds later at the 22nd minute.

San Jose regained their composer and toward the end of the half had numerous attempts for the go-ahead goal but weren’t able to capitalize.

It didn’t take long for San Jose regain the lead once the second half started. In the 48th minute with the Quakes in possession, Eriksson split RSL’s defense with a splendid pass over to Tommy Thompson who broke in from the right side of the D. Thompson had a stride on Alvin Jones, who ended up pushing down Thompson inside the box resulting in a penalty kick for the Quakes.

Eriksson buried the ball into the upper right corner for the first of his two-goal evening for San Jose.

“We have been shooting penalties during the week and I felt pretty confident. I had a really great feeling before both penalty kicks. There was no doubt from my side. I am really happy with the performance tonight with the boys and everybody around the team, so it is a great evening for us,” Eriksson said.

Real Salt Lake pushed back in the 59th minute when Martinez drove into the box but his shot was saved by Vega.

San Jose gained their first two-goal lead two minutes later in the 61st minute. Vako collected a turnover from 30 yards out. He dribbled up the middle before sending a pass to the left where Andy Rios gave back a pretty centering feed to Vako who tapped home the ball for for his first goal of the tournament.

Once again Martinez tried to get Real Salt Lake back into the match. He centered a pass over Damar Kreilach but Vega was there with a diving save off to spoil Kreilach’s chance in the 63rd minute.

Kreilach gave Real Salt Lake a glimmer of hope in the 75th minute when he slammed home a pass from Marcelo Silva past into the right corner past Vega cutting the Quakes lead to just one goal.

Silva received a red card in the 84th minute for a dangerous tackle attempt on Jackson Yueill that had the Quakes midfielder withering in pain on the grass for a few minutes.

With San Jose up with a man advantage, Chris Wondolowski put the game away in the 86th minute when Shea Salinas made a move around Justin Meram and centered the ball that deflected off the foot of MacMath over to the MLS all-time leading goal scorer who had the ball tap off his shin and sneak into the right corner of the net for his third goal in three games.

Wondo increased his current MLS record for goals to 162.

Eriksson put the cherry on top in the final minute of stoppage time when he cashed in his second penalty shot of the night after a hand ball by Kyle Beckerman inside the box gave the Quakes their second opportunity from 12 yards out. Beckerman was issued a red card and ejected from the match for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Vega finished with three saves on fives shots on target as he stayed undefeated in the tournament (3-0-1). MacMath finished with three saves on eight shots on target in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose had six corner kicks to Real Salt Lake’s four.

The only stat Real Salt Lake dominated in was fouls. They had 19 to only nine for San Jose.

The Quakes have taken more than twice the number of shots as their opponents in the MLS is Back Tournament (76 to 37).

Rios tallied his first assist of the MLS is Back Tournament and first of the year in all competitions.

Sixteen-year-old Cade Cowell made his second appearance of the MLS is Back Tournament, entering as a substitute in the 81st minute.

Real Salt Lake’s Justen Glad was issued a yellow card in the 66th minute for tripping Espinoza. Corey Baird (33rd minute) and Aaron Herrera (29th minute) also drew yellow cards. Espinoza received his own yellow card in the 31st minute.

UP NEXT: San Jose take on the winner of the Columbus-Minnesota match on Saturday 8/1 at 5:00pm at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

MLS is Back Tournament podcast with London Marq: Quakes wait for their next opponent sit on top of Group B

The San Jose Earthquakes Shea Salinas in the second game of the MLS is Back Tournament against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wed Jul 15th runs off in celebration after booting the winning goal in the eighth minute of stoppage time ( photo)

Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 Who would have thought but their they are on the top of Group B the San Jose Earthquakes who started the tournament with a scoreless draw against the Seattle Sounders on July 10th, then in a game that might have sparked the team the Quakes down 3-2 to the Vancouver Whitecaps came back with two goals to win 4-3.  London I’ll let you talk about those first two matches to start.

# 2 The Quakes in their third match last Sunday faced the Chicago Fire and picked up a shutout victory 2-0 and the Quakes are 2-0-1 who would have thought after the season was on hold for four months they would come back and playing in the bubble that they would have got this far.

#3 London just to review the Sunday game against Chicago regarding the two goals scored by the Quakes Midfielder Jackson Yueill got the ball to Christian Espinoza, who made a move past his defender and took a left-footed shot past Fire goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm. You’ve seen Espinoza in the past he’s a real ball handler.

#4 On the second goal by the Quakes Carlos Fierro and Chris Wondolowski came in as substitutes in the 82nd minute Fierro kicked a left footed cross and Wondolowski head butted in past Kronholm for the 2-0 lead.

#5 So at 2-0-1 the Quakes are awaiting who will their next opponent Real Salt Lake on Mon Jul 27th a 5:30 pm start. A win here will further improve their perfect record and put them at a higher seed in the tournament.

Join London Marq for the MLS is Back Tournament podcasts each Friday at

Earthquakes second half surge buries Fire 2-0. Advance to round of 16 of MLS Is Back Tournament

San Jose Earthquakes gets sprayed with a can of beer as they celebrate their second win shutting out the Chicago Fire on Sunday 2-0 at the ESPN Wide World Sports Complex in Orlando ( photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

ORLANDO, Fla—The San Jose Earthquakes are making a habit of putting teams away in the second half of matches.

They scored two goals to take control in the second 45 en-route to a 2-0 shutout victory over the Chicago Fire FC in their final match of Group B play on Sunday evening at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

With the win, the Quakes clinched first place with seven points (2-0-1) in Group B of the MLS Is Back tournament and advance to the Round of 16 as they await their next opponent.

“These three games were important for this tournament, and it’s also important for the points in the regular season from the stoppage,” said Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda. “Today, the players are responding in an excellent manner. That makes us and our families happy, especially the people from San Jose that watch and follow us.”

The first half featured an exhibition on passing and not much shooting the ball at the goal. San Jose controlled possession with a 70%-30% advantage, but neither team generated many quality chances.

Magnus Eriksson’s shot attempt in the 25th minute sailed high over the net. Luka Stojanovic had the best chance to score by either team in the 39th minute when Chicago finally applied pressure in the offensive zone. However his right-footed shot also sailed over the net.

San Jose (2-1-2) broke the deadlock in the 56th minute when Andy Rios made a touch pass over to Jackson Yuiell. The Man of the Match then quickly found Cristian Espinoza ahead down the right wing. Espinoza beat Fire defender Francisco Calvo off the ball and lasered a shot into the back corner past goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm for his first goal of the season.

“We are just excited to be a team again, playing together. I think now these three games have given us a lot of confidence and a lot of momentum. We are just happy to be on the field. We didn’t want this to be our last game for a while, and we want to keep pushing and keep playing together. You can kind of see that everyone has a little bit of a chip on their shoulders to make it as far as we can and to enjoy ourselves. I think that’s why we are doing the best right now,” said Yueill.

It’s Espinoza third goal in 35 games since San Jose acquired him at the start of the 2019 season.

San Jose put the game away in the 83rd minute thanks to its super substitute Chris Wondolowski. Carlos Fierro sent in a perfect cross from the right sideline to an unmarked Wondolowski and the all-time MLS leading goal scorer headed in the ball past Kronholm for his second goal in as many games.

Wondo, who scored 30 seconds after coming in as a sub for Judson in the 82nd minute, increased his record to 161 goals.

“[The substitutions] depend on the game and on what we are experiencing on the bench. But I considered the game still open, and we could have ended it with the substitutions that we made. Fortunately, it ended up in a positive result,” Almeyda said.

Chicago (1-2-1) couldn’t find a way to get a ball past Quakes goalkeeper Daniel Vega. He has recorded two shutouts in three games of group play.

San Jose’s back line, led by Florian Jungwirth, did a good job frustrating Fire forwards Robert Beric and C.J. Sapong and keeping them off the scoresheet.

GAME NOTES: San Jose had 5 corner kicks. Chicago had 3. It was considerably less than the MLS record 22 they had against Vancouver last Wednesday.

Stojanovic was replaced by Fabian Herbers in the second minute of stoppage time in the first half due to an lower body injury he suffered in the first half.

Chicago’s Boris Sekulic (29th minute), Alvaro Medran (53rd minute), Herbers (61st minute) Mauricio Pineda (62nd minute) Gaston Gimenez (58th minute) and San Jose’s Florian Jungwirth (37th minute), Judson (50th minute) and Eriksson (86th minute) received yellow cards.

San Jose is now 12-16-11 all-time against Chicago.

UP NEXT: San Jose awaits their next opponent at the conclusion of group play. Chicago takes on Vancouver as both teams conclude Group B play on Thursday 7/23 at 6:00am at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Quakes having early success in first two games; Face Chicago Sunday

The San Jose Earthquakes Shea Salinas (left) celebrates after scoring in the eight minute of stoppage time in the second half on Wednesday night scoring the winning goal for a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps in Orlando (AP photo)

On Headlines with London:

#1 London you never would have predicted it but the San Jose Earthquakes came back from a two goal deficit on Wednesday night to defeat the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-3. It’s something that you didn’t see much of last year.

#2 Eight minutes into stoppage with the scored tied 3-3 the Quakes Shea Salinas scored the tie breaking goal for the Quakes first win of the second match group B Wednesday night at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.

#3 Salinas took the shot 40 yards out worked the ball past three Whitecap defenders then took a shot past the Whitecaps goalie Maxime Crepeau for his first goal of the season. Talk about Salinas and the fashion of is goal?

#4 The game started out typical to some of the games you saw from last year’s Quakes games including a goal that was scored off the Quakes foot of Judson Silva Taveras who pulled inside on a centering pass that went off his foot and went into the Quakes net for a score for Vancouver that put them up 2-0.

#5 The come back in of itself and it has to inspire the Quakes to fight for another victory they came off a 0-0 draw with Seattle previous to facing Vancouver and now face the Chicago Fire this Sunday in Orlando could playing on a neutral site be the difference for the Quakes?

London does Headline Sports each Friday at


Salinas’ late heroics complete improbable comeback in Earthquakes 4-3 win over Whitecaps

Chris Wondolowski Shea Salinas of the San Jose Earthquakes celebrate after beating the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-3 in Major League Soccer’s MLS is Back tournament in Orlando, Florida ( photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

ORLANDO, Fla- Sometimes a head coach has to take drastic measures and take a gamble to spark his team.

Shea Salinas has had a flare for the dramatics during his Earthquakes storied career. He scored the game winning goal eight minutes into stoppage time in the second half as the San Jose Earthquakes, down by two goals twice in the match, defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-3 in their second match of Group B play on Wednesday evening at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex.

Salinas won a 50/50 ball near midfield. He dribbled all the way in from 40 yards out, outmanuevred the ball past three Whitecap defenders inside the box, then fired a shot past Whitecaps goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau for his first goal of the season, giving his team their first win of the 2020 season.

San Jose (1-1-2) were so flat-footed for the first 45 minutes of the game, no one thought the Quakes would have the tenacity for such a combeack. Vancouver controlled play as they came out with an attacking agressiveness against the lifeless Quakes.

Vancouver (1-2), playing in their first Group B match, caught San Jose sleeping in the 7th minute of the match. No one marked left back Ali Adnan as the Iraqi national team memeber dribbled in from the right into the middle and fired a right-footed shot to the back of the far corner for his first goal of the season.

Then at the 22nd minute, the Quakes allowed an embarrassing own goal from Judson. A turnover created a breakaway opportunity for forward Yordy Reyna. As he raced down the pitch , he pulled up inside the box and his centering pass went off the foot of a trailing Judson into his own net for a 2-0 lead for the Whitecaps.

San Jose finally woke up in the second minunte of extra time as they cut the lead in half off a set piece. A centering pass off a corner kick found Andy Rios who deflected the ball off the back of his right heel past Crepeau for his first goal of the season.

The Quakes started off the first 10 minutes of the second half strong with the majority of play in the Whitecaps defensive zone as they created nuerous corner kick opportunties. However they weren’t able to get a quick eqaulizer.

Just when San Jose had momentum on its side, a horrible mistake led to Vancouver’s second two-goal lead. Goalkeeper Daniel Vega made a lackadaisical pass out to the right side where David Milinkovic intercepted the ball and centered a pass over Cristian Dejome who buried the ball into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.

Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda had seen enough of the lackluster play from his starters as he made four consecutive substituions in the 63rd minute when he instilled Chris Wondolowski, Danny Hoesen, Shea Salinas and Carlos Fierro.

The strategy paid off immediately as San Jose took control of the game. Nine minutes later Hoeson’s centering cross was deflected high in the air and Wondo, who was unmarked, jumped up and headed the ball past Crepeau for his first goal of the season.

Wondolowski increased his league record to 160 career goals.

San Jose scored the equalizer in the 81st minute. Once again the set piece was kind to the Quakes. Magnus Eriksson bent in a perfect cross off a corner kick into the middle where Oswaldo Alanis headed the ball into the back of the net for his second goal of the season.

Vancouver, who played the match without four of their forwards, were stunned beyound belief and could only look back at blowing their two goal lead in the last 18 minutes of the second half.

GAME NOTES: San Jose dominated the game in corner kicks (22-4) and shot attempts (30-7). They also won the possession battle 67.8% to Vancouver’s 32.2%.

Four yellow cards were issued by referee Marcos de Oliveira with three to San Jose (Cristian Espinoza, Jackson Yueill and Fierro) and one to Vancouver (Jasser Khmiri).

UP NEXT: The Quakes finish Group B play when they take on the Chicago Fire FC on Sunday 7/19 at 5:00pm at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex.

Earthquakes and Sounders draw 0-0 in MLS Is Back debut in Orlando bubble

The San Jose Earthquakes gather before kick off to send a photo tweet to assistant coach Benjamin Galindo a get well after Galindo suffered a stroke and had brain surgery on May 28th. Galindo was in intensive care and was released home on Thursday in Guadalajara, Mexico . Galindo has been on the coaching staff since 2019. (@SJEarthquakes photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

ORLANDO, Fla.—Soccer is back in America.

In muggy conditions, the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders FC played their first game in four months to a competitive 0-0 draw on Friday evening at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex.

The MLS Is Back tournament has 24 of the 26 league’s teams competing in Orlando to restart the 2020 MLS season. The winner receives a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League in 2021. FC Dallas and Nashville FC were forced to withdraw from the tournament due to their players and staff having numerous positive tests for COVID-19.

San Jose, who were the first team to travel to Orlando 16 days ago, looked like the team most adapted to the humid conditions as they controlled play in the first half with a 63-37% advantage in possession against the defending MLS Cup champions.

The Quakes had two good scoring chances in the 24th and 25th minutes. Christian Espinoza made a move from the right into the middle for a shot that was saved by Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Then Vako’s shot from the left wing was also stopped by Frei.

San Jose looked to make a dent in the scoreboard late in the first half when Espinoza centered a pass into the middle, but Andy Rios’ attempt sailed just to the left of the goal in the 39th minute.

The Quakes defense played sound defense in the first half. With the exception of letting Cristian Roldan get behind them for a point-blank shot that Earthquakes goalkeeper Daniel Vega made a two-handed blocker save in the 28th minute, Seattle didn’t muster any other quality scoring chances in the first 45 minutes.

The second half saw Seattle increase the pressure in the Quakes defensive zone. Once again Vega made a point-blank save on Roldan in the 52nd minute.

The steamy conditions began to take their toll on both teams with many players suffering cramps in the last 30 minutes of the second half.

San Jose dominated the game with nine corner kicks to just one for Seattle. The Quakes had a chance to take the lead in the 83rd minute with their eighth of the match but were not able to cash in the opportunity.

Seattle’s best chance to break the deadlock came in the 84th minute when a centering feed split two Quakes defenders to a wide open Raul Ruidiaz inside the box but he hesitated on his shot attempt, allowing Vega to come out and make the save.

Despite a combined 28 shots on goal, both goalkeepers shined the brightest on the pitch for 98 minutes.

GAME NOTES: Quakes center fullback Guram Kashia left the game late in the match with what appeared to be a cramp in his leg.

San Jose’s Tommy Thompson (19th minute) and Seattle’s Xavier Arreaga (24th minute) were issued yellow cards for unsporting behavior.

One new quirk the tournament features is teams have the ability to make five substitutions instead of the normal three. San Jose used all five opportunities while Seattle used four.

This was the Quakes first match since March 7th when they lost to Minnesota FC 5-2 at Earthquakes Stadium.

UP NEXT: The Quakes take on the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday 7/15 in their second match of Group B play at 7:30pm at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.